United States of America
TeamUnited States of America
Short Track Speed SkatingShort Track Speed Skating
Olympic Medals
Games Participations3
First Olympic GamesVancouver 2010
Year of Birth1990


J. R. Celski seemed to have a short, meteoric career at the highest levels of short-track speed skating, after starting out as an inline skater. He competed at the 2009 World Juniors and World Championships, winnings golds at the junior meet in the 500m, the 3,000m relay, and a silver in the 1,500 metres. At the 2009 World Championships he added a gold in the 3,000 metres, and 5,000m relay, bronzes in the 1,000 and 1,500, and a silver in the overall. Great things were expected of him at the 2010 Winter Olympics, but during the US Trials, he fell after a collision and his own skate blade slashed his left thigh, requiring over 60 stitches. It was not certain if he would be able to compete at the Vancouver Olympics. But he recovered quickly, despite damage to a skater’s all-important quadriceps muscle. In Vancouver, Celski won two bronze medals, in the 1,500 metres and the relay. After the Winter Olympics, he competed again at the World Championships, adding three more medals – silver in the relay, and two bronzes in the 1,000 and 3,000. And seemingly that was it for his skating career as he retired after two years at the top of the sport.

Later in 2010, Celski established MAD Northwest, with MAD standing for Music, Art and Dance, to promote the arts in his native northwestern United States. The company is a self-funded start-up and he hopes to use it to get into film producing, beginning with a documentary on the Seattle area hip-hop music scene.

However, Celski returned to the rink to try to make the 2014 US Olympic team and he succeeded, winning a silver medal in the relay at Sochi. He also competed at the 2014 World Championships, winning the 3,000 metre event (a non-Olympic event), and taking silvers in the 500 metres and overall. Celski again "went into hiding" for the next few years but then he re-surfaced the year before the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and made his third US Olympic team at the 2017 US short-track trials.


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